Skip to main content

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions


Published October 12, 2008


LibriVox recording of Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin Abbott Abbott.
Read by Ruth Golding.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 science fiction novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott. As a satire, Flatland offered pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions; in a foreword to one of the many publications of the novella, noted science writer Isaac Asimov described Flatland as "The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions." As such, the novella is still popular amongst mathematics, physics and computer science students. (Summary by Wikipedia)

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats or languages (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

For more free audio books or to become a volunteer reader, visit LibriVox.org.

Download M4B (118MB)


1 - 1 - Part 1 - Sections 1 to 3
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
2 - 2 - Part 1 - Sections 4 to 5
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
3 - 3 - Part 1 - Sections 6 to 7
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
4 - 4 - Part 1 - Sections 8 to 10
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
5 - 5 - Part 1 - Sections 11 to 12
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
6 - 6 - Part 2 - Sections 13 to 14
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
7 - 7 - Part 2 - Sections 15 to 17
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
8 - 8 - Part 2 - Sections 18 to 20
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
9 - 9 - Part 2 - Sections 21 to 22
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Run time 4:13:33

See also MusicBrainz (release group)[MusicBrainz (release group)]; MusicBrainz (release)[MusicBrainz (release)];

Reviews

Reviewer: Rhapsodize - - August 21, 2014
Subject: Superb Performance
Abbott's book is a bit dry and hard going at the beginning, during which time he is providing necessary background and orientation to the core story, but what could be tedious listening is wonderfully ameliorated by Ruth Golding's excellent performance. Her intelligent, smooth, and deliberate delivery, soothing vocal resonance, flawless articulation (standard British accent), and restrained but vibrant emotion compelled me to keep listening. By the time she gets to Abbott's main tale, I was rapt, thoroughly in her spell. I don't think I could have gotten as much out of this bizarre mathematical novel by reading it silently as I did having Ms. Golding perform it for me.
Reviewer: lindaisling - - April 12, 2013
Subject: Terrific
One of my all-time favorite stories.
Reviewer: GeoffreyEdwards - - August 17, 2012
Subject: Thank You
Thank you for this great solo recording. I still remember listening to it in my office during my lunch breaks and that was several years ago.
Reviewer: Lucy_k_p - - November 4, 2010
Subject: Excellent reading, entertaining book
Thank you Ruth for an excellent reading. The characters of A Square and the Sphere came through beautifully.

The tale itself is part social satire, part mathematical treatise. Both parts are interesting, entertaining and informative.
Reviewer: Arch Stanton - - May 20, 2010
Subject: Upwards but not Northwards
Abbot's work describes a fantasy world descibed in geometry. It is a notably early work of its sort admired, amongst others, by Isaac Asimov. The satire is clear: Flatland is somewhere that women are 'invisible', the ruling classes have no use for 'feeling', and where irregularity is frowned upon. A lesser echo to this is the one-dimensional 'Lineland', given a smaller section of its own, where vistas and understanding are even more circumscribed, or the extreme limitations of 'Dotland' (the solipsisms of which make up some of the most memorable moments in the book). The book is written by one who has temporarily escaped, after being introduced to the merits of a regular, 3 dimensional universe (or 'Spaceland') by a helpful visitor. The merits of Abbot's book are that it more and more suggests to the reader a open mind towards the perception of things as they appear to be, as well as introducing the notion of a multi-dimensional reality. Reader Ruth Golding is, as usual excellent, dryly ironic when she needs be, with typically clear diction and enunciation. Her choice here makes for a complete contrast to another work of fantasy she has done (and which I can also recommend) Jefferies' 'After London' - swopping the natural world for the mathematical.
Reviewer: JWedg - - February 7, 2010
Subject: A Classic & Well-Read !
This short story is a classic for many math students trying to visualize or at least grasp more than our 3 visible space dimensions (actually 4 dimensions in space-time. This story is overshadowed by a heavy critique of the social and power "cast system" in England along with the position of women at the time (although the satire about women sometimes doesn't sound like satire.)

The reader has a voice I could listen to forever. She could read a cookbook and I would listen. Like Goldilocks said, "it was just right!".
Reviewer: Mike DeWitt - - December 23, 2009
Subject: Outstanding Recording
A fascinating and thought-provoking book, masterfully read by Ruth Golding. As good as any commercial audiobook I've heard.
Reviewer: notmyname - - December 7, 2009
Subject: Classic book, solid recording
The British-sounding female reader does a good, mostly pretty expressive reading. There are detailed descriptions of all the diagrams and pictures, which is a nice touch. The text itself is explicit enough that I almost felt I didn't need the pictures.
PEOPLE ALSO FOUND
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Fergus Hume
2,112
0
2
( 2 reviews )
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Royal Baking Powder Company
4,197
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Ruth Plumly Thompson
2,543
0
0
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Alfred Domett
5,326
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Matthew Arnold
3,452
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Unknown
9,718
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
Job
by King James Version
31,170
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Comte de Lautréamont
14,436
0
0
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Stephen Leacock
1,613
0
1
( 1 reviews )
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
by Michelangelo Buonarroti; Tommaso Campanella
491
0
0